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U Boats

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U Boats
Posted by southernalco on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:37 PM

Are there any shortlines that still use U Boats or have they gone to the Dash 7's or 8's.

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Posted by NorthWest on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 11:43 PM

Transkentucky Transportation/TTI had a few, but the railroad is almost shut down for lack of traffic. Lake Superior and Ishpeming has U30Cs, but they are runnning leased AC4400CWs on most things I think. There might be others out there, but I doubt it.

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Posted by pajrr on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 1:49 AM

This really does not fit the question, but here is a U-Boat story. I was aboard a New Jersey Transit U34CH towards the end of their careers. There was a blank area on the rear cab wall. Someone had drawn a "depth gauge". Get the "U-Boat" (as in German Sub) connection? I thought it was hysterical.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 8:03 AM

I have no time to check this, but someone will know: there was a short line that specialized in U36Bs and perhaps still does.

i think much of the action in pre-dash-7s was overseas, particularly Brazil, where mechanics used to working with next to nothing were delighted to get GEs and keep them cobbled together.  A bit like the old saw about overtuned Italian cars, where you had to tinker most of the weekend to get them to run through the ensuing week, but on a much grander scale.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 5:22 PM

pajrr

This really does not fit the question, but here is a U-Boat story. I was aboard a New Jersey Transit U34CH towards the end of their careers. There was a blank area on the rear cab wall. Someone had drawn a "depth gauge". Get the "U-Boat" (as in German Sub) connection? I thought it was hysterical.

 

I wasn't me, but I wish it was!

And in that vein...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pddW-HeHAwo

I was going to link "Wir Fahren Gegen Engeland"  but there's too many damn swastikas in that one for my taste.

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Posted by NorthWest on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 9:25 PM

Overmod
I have no time to check this, but someone will know: there was a short line that specialized in U36Bs and perhaps still does.

I think that's TTI as mentioned above? I think that all of the FGLK units are done, as are the Georgia Central units, and while there might be singular units kicking around on a short line or two I think that they are done in North America in large groups. There might be a bunch in Southern Mexico, but information in that area is a little hard to find.

I think much of the action in pre-dash-7s was overseas, particularly Brazil, where mechanics used to working with next to nothing were delighted to get GEs and keep them cobbled together. A bit like the old saw about overtuned Italian cars, where you had to tinker most of the weekend to get them to run through the ensuing week, but on a much grander scale.

There are a bunch of U23Cs running around in Brazil, but they were built for RFFSA, and I think that most U boats were retired before the big importing binges started, so most older GEs in South America are Dash-8s.

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Posted by Saturnalia on Friday, February 2, 2018 12:17 AM

NorthWest

Lake Superior and Ishpeming has U30Cs, but they are runnning leased AC4400CWs on most things I think. There might be others out there, but I doubt it.

The LS&I keeps a pair of U30Cs and a pair of C30-7s in service, but they're generally used last, as mentioned. The "Bluebird" CEFX AC4400CW fleet gets used first, however the lease is supposedly up in April, so things may be changing sooner rather than later. 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, February 2, 2018 6:55 AM

I believe that Pickens has a handful of ex-CSX/SCL U18B's in occasional service.

Brazil is a pretty good place for old U-Boats.  MRS operates a sizable fleet of U23C's and export models such as U20C's are still in service on other roads.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by DALE W WOODLAND on Monday, February 5, 2018 9:13 PM

Yes, the ESPN B23-7 #3153 between Quakertwon and Telford, Pa on the former Reading Company Bethlehem Branch.

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Posted by gntrain1 on Monday, February 5, 2018 9:40 PM

On a similar vein, I once saw a photo of a Penn Central U boat that had derailed and plowed deep into the dirt. The caption was of course "Dive, Dive, Dive!"

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Posted by poop on Sunday, January 9, 2022 6:23 PM

I am reading about the green LS&I GE locos a few times! Are they now going to be retired? Is there a definite plan? If so, what are the replacements? How much longer would we have to see them running? Man I have been wanting to catch them for years (live in lower Peninsula)! If I came later in the Summer, would the green GEs still be running? MAN!!!!

Robert Jackson

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Sunday, January 9, 2022 9:10 PM

The U-Boats were largely pushed aside years ago by AC4400CW's after being supplemented by four C30-7's from BNSF. Just three or four U30C's were operating pre-COVID and I've not heard of that ending.

I thought the purchase they just made of three CEFX AC4400CW's would end whatever U-Boat operations that are left, but it appears to be AC4400CW's that they've been leasing for years now rather than an expansion of their AC4400CW roster.

So it doesn't necessarily spell doom for the U-Boats if you were thinking like I was and saw that they were buying three modern GE's. Just a conversion away from leasing to owning outright their AC4400CW's.

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Posted by poop on Monday, January 10, 2022 5:23 PM

Thanx! This could be better than I thought! Though a guy on Facebook mentioned LSI is getting three more AC400CW locos after buying all six currently leased! He said late "First Quarter!" I don't know what to think! Looks like LS&I currently uses two U30C and two C30-7 locos! I am hoping on coming up here later this year to catch! I shouldn't waste any more time to get these! I also have to check out  Escanaba and Lake Superior F7A #600 running!!!! Wink

Robert Jackson

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Monday, January 10, 2022 6:21 PM

For what it's worth, all that's been mentioned on Loconotes was the purchase this month of CEFX 1003, 1004, and 1005. No mention of purchasing the other three or of expanding the fleet. 

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Posted by poop on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 3:17 AM

Can't always believe what you read on Facebook!!!! Seems like Loconotes has more accurate info. I hope it is correct that they aren't getting more AC4400CW locos and that LS&I will retain what they have now! In that case going to the U.P. later this year should still yield the old "Green" GE locos! Right? Another thing I may miss is CN operating the old WC lines in the U.P. Looks like WATCO will now be operating very soon! I have witnessed CN operating there in past years! Also, is Watco getting the old Algoma Central? Gee I hope the AC passenger trains will keep running or restored to Hearst, Ontario! Does anyone here know more about?

Speaking of AC, check out my RRPIX album of their passenger trains over the years: 
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiveThumbs.aspx?id=66493

 

Robert Jackson

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Posted by poop on Thursday, January 13, 2022 3:36 AM

Well Leo! Looks like the Facebook info is correct! An employee mentioned that the old LSI GE locos are now drained! This is the end of the season! Three more AC4400CW engines are on the way! They may have two green locos for next season, but not guaranteed! Well, I still have never seen LS&I!!!! Crying

Robert Jackson

 
 
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, January 13, 2022 4:17 AM

That's sad to hear, but at least they've had a long run. Far longer than 99.9% of GE's domestic U-Boat production. 

I wonder if they'll see fit to give U25C #2501 a Cascade Green companion in Marquette. 

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, January 13, 2022 11:25 AM

2501 is looking quite faded...

Maybe since they're buying the new GEs, they'll paint them into the company scheme.

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Posted by poop on Thursday, January 20, 2022 7:17 AM

Leo, sounds like if they don't have three additional AC4400CW locos by the start of next season, the "Green" engines will be running! Hope it takes time for these new units! Does anyone here know when they usually start operating? It sounds like it is March! Now I have absolute plans to come here starting in March!!!! Big Smile Actually two different friends are offering to help take me (I don't drive at this point)! YES!!!! I might as well come twice while there is a chance to catch old  LS&I U-boats!!!! Big Smile Wink Wink Surprise Big Smile Wink Wink GeekedGeeked Angel AngelBowBowBig Smile

Robert Jackson (Roseville, MI Lower Peninsula)

 
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, January 20, 2022 7:40 AM

The Poe Lock at the Soo opens on March 25th (The MacArthur Lock is scheduled for April to give extra time for maintenance on the aging lock). That's usually when the iron ore starts to flow again on the Great Lakes, so I imagine the LS&I starts to ramp up operations by mid March.

Edit: First ships to load at the Presque Isle dock last season were on March 25th (The Joseph Thompson, Great Lakes Trader, and Erie Trader). Not sure how much before that the LS&I would've started delivering iron ore to Marquette, but I imagine it's at least several days before hand.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, January 20, 2022 9:29 PM

Don't get too excited about seeing the old GE's in operation.  I've been in Marquette about 4-5 times in the last 2 years and all I've ever seen operating are the new ones.  I wasn't railfanning but saw the ore dock crew a few times and two road jobs. 

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